IIBond Befriending App

This project requires us to create an app that enhances the befriending experience and relationship enrichment. I collaborated with a friend of mine, Harry, to work on this project. IIBOND is an app that focuses on social isolation problems. It provides a platform for both the user and volunteer befriender to share memories they spent together. Rather than having a physical album to keep and archive memories, the app uses both traditional and modern approach to increase and encourage the users’ participation in social and community life. As the activity being carried out is as important as it is to ensure a nice and valuable experience for both users. IIBOND uses a touch-feel approach to provide a bridge that connects physical and digital platform together.

IIBOND provides a weekly challenge for the users to carry out together, using something just as simple as a phone camera as the activity’s main element. Each week, the users will receive a card individually. Each of the card has half a part of QR code on it. Both users will have to pair the cards together to show the full code. The code is then scanned to activate and reveal the weekly befriending activity. The users will be given a theme or topic and they have to take a photo that represents it the most in their own perspective. The memories saved in the app can be viewed by both users. Each feature in the app has its purpose of its own, mainly to ensure a positive engagement for the users.

Research & Development.

We conducted an online survey to ask about public’s opinion and preference of how a befriending app should work and look like. Throughout a contextual research that we have conducted, we found a few powerful points coming from a  category of  main users in befriending:

“I really enjoy having somebody who will take me out to the pub for a pint on Sundays especially.”

“I’ve got to know other people through Sean. His friends that he’s introduced me to, and acquaintances…he’s like a doorway of meeting people.”

“I look forward to it. And when she doesn’t come…you’d be surprised what a difference it makes.”

Befriending users look forward to meeting their volunteer befrienders because it gives them the chance to involve with the community and to look for the meaning of life again. With this, we came up with an idea to create a platform for befriending users to be able to engage themselves with memorable events and having the choice to let their voices and stories be heard and shared.

An app has an important role to provide a sense of happiness and comfort to befriending users. We decided to create a cheerful yet heart-felt interface for both the physical card and app. 

Hence, a home-like and vintage tone for the card to symbolize warm-hearted and a traditional feel; cheerful theme for the app, which symbolizes modernisation.

An app has an important role to provide a sense of happiness and comfort to befriending users. We decided to create a cheerful yet heart-felt interface for both the physical card and app. 

Hence, a home-like and vintage tone for the card to symbolize warm-hearted and a traditional feel; cheerful theme for the app, which symbolizes modernisation.

After having a clear idea of the entire app’s flow of usability and functionality, we started to create a range of app features using PERMA, a theoretical model of happiness as a base guide to help us maximize each element to ensure our user’s engagement and happiness. Each process in IIBOND consists of its own motive. For example, the process of being together, matching a card to form a QR code promotes excitement and happiness when the challenge is revealed. IIBOND ensures the interaction generates positive satisfaction, constructive engagement and provides a meaning of life to users. Branching out from there, we created the app’s sitemap and wireframes. 

IIBOND main features includes:

1. Scan QR code

2. Take a photo

3. View user’s or befriender’s album

4. Read stories the user have created or shared by the befriender

5. Earn points to get rewards

As to find a solution to social isolation, IIBOND provides an option for users whether to share their stories to public billboards or just to the app. 

The stories shared contributes to earning points where the users could claim and share it among each other or convert it for charity and donation.

To preview the working prototype, click here.